Italy on Monday deplored Myanmar's military coup against the democratically elected government and the arrest of Nobel peace laureate and civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other leaders of her party over alleged electoral fraud.
"Italy strongly condemns the wave of arrests in Myanmar and calls for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi and of all the arrested political leaders," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Suu Kyi was was held along with other leaders of her governing National League for Democracy party in a wave of arrests early on Monday ahead of the new parliament's first session following the NLD's landslide victory in November polls.
"The will of the people, clearly expressed at the latest elections, must be respected. We are concerned about this sudden interruption of the democratic transition process and urge respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms," the foreign ministry statement went on.
All authority in Myanmar has been given to the top army commander and a one-year state of emergency has been declared, said a statement on military TV.
The army also said it will use its new powers to hold new elections.
The coup has been condemned by the United States, the UK, the European Union and Australia, which have urged Myanmar's military to respect the rule of law and immediately free all civilian leaders and others who have been detained.
Myanmar, also known as Burma, was ruled by the armed forces until 2011, when democratic reforms spearheaded by Suu Kyi ended military rule. She spent nearly 15 years in detention between 1989 and 2010.
Vuoi restare informato? Iscriviti a e-news, la newsletter di Adnkronos inviata ogni giorno, dal lunedì al venerdì, con le più importanti notizie della giornata